Passing of Eddie Robertson - a really great man.
It's with sadness that we notify our U3A Tawa members of the passing of Eddie Robertson who has been an active member of U3A Tawa for many years.
Eddie was a Director of DSIR and was a lively Current Affairs "discusser/ debater", in the days we met down at Doris Mills Lounge in Linden - before he turned 100!
He was proud of being School Dux for two years - rare! There has been a DSIR building at Upper Hutt named in his honour. He may have out lived it.
Older U3A members may recall much about Eddie and his tales. Worthy of a U3A note somewhere. More...
Eddie never lost his boyish enthusiasm and sense of humour. He was a regular attender at Current Affairs and could hold his own in debate despite being nearly 100. His main argument was that in NZ we don’t seem to be able to make a decision and stick with it. We are always “consulting” then when a decision is finally made it’s always up for grabs again.
Eddie went off to the UK during the War and got very used to getting things done and not just talking about them. He was watched to the Royal Navy and worked on de-gaussing marine mines and the like. He well remembered being sent to meet a top NZ scientist on a wharf at Portsmouth. “He said hello then disappeared off. He said he’d be back in a few minutes but I next saw him nine years later. Wartime was like that”.
Eddie very much admired the tough regime of Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore. Also, he personally met with the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, when she visited here as UK Opposition leader in the late 1970s. He spoke with relish about Mrs. Thatcher. She and he had exactly the same ideas about Government science and of course she was a scientist (and lawyer) too. Her minder kept insisting she had to leave but she and Eddie were locked in conversation and they ran over time by well over an hour.
Eddie was dead against the infamous government “jolly” trip. He regularly sent his scientists all over the world in search of ideas and to support other Commonwealth countries. “I always made sure that any trip to the US or London included some hard labour along the way in, say, Africa or India where they didn’t have our advantages. That’s was what the Commonwealth was all about”.
A really great man, was Eddie.